Tacugama Founder Seeks to Raise Funds, Awareness in Europe
The Tacugama Chimpanzee Sanctuary, which found itself in the center of the fierce civil war that ravaged Sierra Leone for more than a decade, will present its remarkable tale of rescue and rehabilitation to European audiences with a series of public events scheduled later this month in Barcelona and London.
Bala Amarasekaran, who founded Tacugama 14 years ago, will speak on Nov. 13 as part of a dinner event at the Hotel Catalonia Barcelona Plaza (Placa d’Espanya 6-8) at 7 p.m. Tickets are 25 euros each.
That event will be preceded by the launch of a new children’s book by Catalan author Pilar Garriga, Un Estiu a Tacugama (A Summer in Tacugama), which will be held Nov. 11 at the Abacus Cooperativa - Sala Juli Vela (c/ Còrsega, 269) at 7 p.m. The novel follows the exploits of Garriga’s sister, Tacugama veterinarian Rosa Garriga, in a fictionalized plot based at the sanctuary.
On Nov. 21, Amarasekaran will speak at a fund-raising supper at the Royal Over-Seas Leaque (St. James Street) in central London. The evening will include a hot buffet, music and entertainment. Tickets are 25 euros each and can be purchased through the International Primates Protection (IPPL), UK.
Amarasekaran’s European tour also includes an appearance at the Sierra Leone Investment and Donor Conference, which will take place in London on Nov. 18 and 19. Organized by the U.K. Government’s Department for International Development (DFID), the conference is designed to promote foreign awareness and interest in Sierra Leone.
Tacugama was founded in 1995 in response to waves of orphaned chimpanzees that were the result of the bushmeat crisis, deforestation and human encroachment in West Africa. The sanctuary now cares for over 90 chimpanzees at its facility in the foothills above Freetown, and has thrived despite the crippling civil war that plagued Sierra Leone from 1991 until 2002.
Tacugama is a charter member of the Pan African Sanctuary Alliance (PASA), which was created in 2000 to unite the primate rescue and rehabilitation centers across Africa.